Hammers and Claws

Between the ages of 10 – 17 I lived in Potomac, MD.  The funny thing about it is that even though I spent seven years of my life growing up there I do not feel like I am from Maryland at all.  Maybe I came out of the womb as NYer but happened to land in Los Angeles slowly having to make my way east until I found my destination.  I think there are a variety of reasons while I don't feel connected to the area. Probably being an unhappy participant watching the demise of my parents marriage is number one on the list.  Regardless, I do have a few fond memories and one of them is an annual crabfest.

Josh Morgan put on an event at the Tunnel In Chelsea called Hammer & Claws Blue Crab Festival this weekend.  Just the smell of Old Bay seasoning when I walked into the room sent me back to my youth.  Sailing on the Chesapeake and stopping somewhere for a bushel of crabs one evening. The event had multiple seatings and for one price you could basically eat as many crabs as you want, drink as much beer, get some cole slaw, corn and a few desserts and listen to music on long communal tables.  People were really having a great time.

There are a few things about a crabfest.  You need a bib and you need wet-ones.  That wasn't provided so I'd keep that in mind for next year.  If you have never done the crab thing keep this in mind too, lots of effort for very little food but it sure is fun. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Susan Wilson

    I live just across the Bay Bridge from Annapolis, MD on Kent Island – so we are literally surrounded by crabs.  It makes for great summer weekends for sure.  And there is something gratifying and fun about actually having to WORK for your food b/c w/crabs you really do work hard for just a few bits of crab meat.  But it’s so good, you can’t stop until you’re finally just worn out or a total mess b/c it seems to me when I’m cracking crabs, I can NEVER get full.  My secret – a pound of boiled shrimp WITH lots of Old Bay!  It’s only a little bit or work and equally amazing.  Throw in some corn on the cob & beer and I’m set for a full day!

    1. Gotham Gal

      The shrimp is the perfect icing on the cake. Nice one

  2. daryn

    Growing up in Baltimore, I miss a good old fashioned crab feast.Out here we’ve got dungeness crabs, which are bigger and easier to eat, but we usually have one each (on a plate even!). Nothing like sitting at a newspaper-covered table for a few hours, with a dozen blue crabs crusted in Old Bay, and some ice cold cheap beer! 

    1. Susan Wilson

      I ride my bike here each morning before my kids get up & I get ready for work so happy to ship you some yummy blue crabs & lots of patience ;D

  3. Mwilkotz

    Hilarious that there are so many Marylanders here.  Anyone who grew up around crabs, Old Bay and Natty Bo must have that all imprinted on their taste buds.  It’s hard for other people to understand the allure though.  I can still picture my father in law, who eats fruit with a fork and knife to avoid getting his hands dirty, trying to eat crabs in a white linen suit a few days before my wedding.  Bravo anyone who is taking the crabfest tradition north!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Old Bay is definitely imprinted in my sensory memory bank.

  4. gsilberman

    so sorry I missed this…matt would have been in heaven ….